Thursday, June 29, 2017

Doubtful benefits

A major group of patients who come to us are those with non- communicable diseases being treated elsewhere who just cannot bear the cost of treatment. Of course, most of the extra expenses are a result of multivitamins and latest combination drugs which are expensive.

However, I was quite surprised to meet a well off gentleman who came to me last week. He was diagnosed to have diabetes and hyperthyroidism elsewhere. He was incurring a cost of 7000 INR every month just to purchase the medicines. Doctor consultation costs and blood tests were extra. He had met another doctor who told him that there was no need for so many medicines.

He came for a second opinion.

His original treating doctor was no small man. He was a senior cardiologist in a NABH accredited hospital in a state capital city of our country.

The best I could do was to call up one of my friends in the respective speciality.

The below snap shows the medicines he had with him. In the foreground is the medicines he absolutely needs and behind it are the medicines he could do without, which has not much evidence of significant benefit.



A close up of the medicines we stopped. The protein powder and the sucralfate syrup is included.
Now, this is a patient who can afford to spend 7000 INR. One can only imagine the plight of the poor who are given a similar prescription . . .

Well, I hope you looked at the second snap, which shows the medicines he stopped a bit close . . . In that bunch of medicines, I hope you noticed Tab. Faropenem 200 mg. The gentleman was having it twice a day since the last 10 days. I could not find any evidence of any sort of infection in the papers he had nor did he give any history of the same. 

So much for evidence based medicine and the dangers of antibiotic resistance that we talk about . . . 

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